Ag Safety Day was held Tuesday, September 20, 2022, on the Graves County High School and Middle School campuses. GCHS agriculture teacher Kelvin Howard organized the all-day event. Morning informational sessions were led by students enrolled in agricultural courses covering relevant safety information on over a dozen topics. Middle school and high school students rotated through the hands-on stations learning a variety of precautions beyond farm safety techniques; examples included road safety, lawn care machinery safety, and large animal safety.
The afternoon concluded with a Pep Rally for Life. The student body of both schools joined together at the football stadium, welcomed by the GCHS band and cheerleaders in true pep rally fashion. The energy stayed upbeat as the Master of Ceremonies, Kentucky Department of Agriculture Dale Dobson, and GCHS FFA president Sadie Smith kicked off the event.
A guest appeared in full protective motorcycle racing gear, creating a fan favorite moment when she quickly changed to reveal it was Hannah Edelen, the reigning Miss Kentucky. Edelen addressed the large crowd stating, "Your life is important enough to protect. It's why we are talking about safety today."
Dr. Kristie Guffey of Murray State University also addressed the students with words of wisdom regarding saving lives through suicide prevention.
The main event was a dramatic, heartbreaking scenario simulating teenagers involved in an alcohol-related ATV accident. The stage was set on the football field to show an ATV collision with farm machinery. With help from local emergency response personnel (including an Air Evac helicopter landing), the audience witnessed the aftermath of poor decisions with lifelong consequences.
Ag Safety Day closed with final words from Kelvin Howard. With all the students, staff, community, and state representatives that contributed to the day joining behind him, the students broke out in chant, "Howard. Howard. Howard". The highly respected, veteran teacher thanked sponsors and all involved. He explained that the day was a picture of what Graves County can accomplish when working together for an important cause.
FFA president Sadie Smith reflected on the day, "I hope everyone can take away the actual importance of safety. No one thinks something can happen until it happens to them. It's not just their safety in their hands. Their choices also impact the safety of those around them."